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New arrivals welcomed

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of two lilac-breasted rollers!

The sibling pair, who have not yet been named, hatched at Paultons Park in May 2020 and have been settling in well since arriving at Dartmoor Zoo at the beginning of October.

Listed as Least Concern, these striking birds have around eight colours, including green, white, black, yellow, turquoise, dark blue, reddish brown, and lilac. 

They have a robust body and a proportionately large head with a heavy black beak, a white chin and a white or yellow band above the eyes and beak. They also have a dark lilac breast that grows lighter towards the throat.

Known to be a fearless creature, these birds will sweep down to hunt from the ground and aggressively batter their prey before swallowing it whole. Their diet includes grasshoppers, beetles and small amphibians.

Hannah Webb, Acting Curator at Dartmoor Zoo, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome these amazing birds into our collection at the zoo. In the future, we will be looking at swapping one with an unrelated roller to create a new breeding pair.”

These amazing birds can be spotted next to our burrowing owls.

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